FIFA research scholarship for CSU academic an Australian first


Mr Peter Simmons, a lecturer at CSU?s School of Communication, is the first Australian to be awarded the prestigious FIFA Joao Havelange international research scholarship.
According to Mr Simmons, there has been little research into football refereeing, and his study, ?Justice, culture and football referee communication?, will test player reactions to different football referee communication styles in Australia, Malaysia and Spain.
?Most football scholars look at player performance, coaching or hooliganism,? Mr Simmons said.
?My research aims to assist referee training by systematically examining referee behaviours that calm players or inflame them unnecessarily.
“The results will be applicable in other sports, and also to people working in areas like teaching, customer service or policing that require them to communicate decisions.
?I play and coach football, and I?ve always been fascinated by referees and the way people react to them. The best referees are acutely aware of the signals they send to players ? with their voice, gestures, expression and attire.
?Leading Australian referees like Matthew Breeze and Mark Shield are master communicators ? they?re calm, but they?re also extremely purposeful in everything they do.
?Referees debate the most effective way to signal for a foul or give a yellow card, but there is very little evidence,? Mr Simmons said.
According to CSU?s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research), Professor Paul Burnett, the project embodies the University?s mission to conduct applied research of national and international importance.
?Peter?s research project has implications not just for the world?s most popular mass sport, but also for other key areas of daily social communication around the world.?
Mr Simmons? study of Australian players? reactions to different communication styles will continue until the end of March. He plans to complete his research in Malaysia and Spain later in the year.
Football players can contribute to this research by completing the survey at
Since 2000, FIFA has awarded the Joao Havelange scholarship to four or five scientific research projects around the world each year. Each is selected for its potential impact on football.
The scholarship is administered by the International Centre for Sport Studies at the Neuchatel University in Switzerland.